Clear cardI tend to travel quite a bit, so Veronica got me thinking about enrolling in Clear, a “fast lane” for frequent fliers that supposedly lets the registered and approved breeze through airport security in mere minutes. The Clear security machines are only present at a few airports, and from what I can tell, you’re charged by the year and for a one-time TSA vetting fee (together $128); the DoHS gets a bunch of personal data about you, including a number of biometrics (iris scan, fingerprints, photograph).

If you’re approved for Clear, according to their site, you and your belongings still have to pass through the usual metal detectors and X-ray screenings; it seems like the only real bonus is that the Clear are shorter (usually non-existent), and there are attendants to assist Clear members with packing / unpacking their belongings for scanning. Of course, besides all the obvious privacy concerns, the vaguely creepy statement that Clear members are “continuously reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security” doesn’t leave me super excited. Clear maintains that its privacy policy is straightforward and progressive, though.

Maybe I naturally lean more to the tinfoil hat end of the spectrum, but is the trade-off of privacy really worth the claimed expediency? Any Clear members, what are your thoughts?